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Text and data mining

Copyright and TDM

Please get in touch with us before you download large amounts of data from a library subscribed resource, as you may trigger automatic misuse tools which could lead to our access being suspended. 

If you have been prevented from using a resource due to licensing or technical issue, or you have any other questions, please let us know as soon as you can.


Text and data mining relies on copying large quantities of digital content. There is an exception in UK copyright law which allows non-commercial copying of copyrighted content to which researchers already have the right of access, which enables this.

The TDM exception introduced in 2014 (section 29A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) states:

“An exception to copyright exists which allows researchers to make copies of any copyright material for the purpose of computational analysis if they already have the right to read the work (that is, they have “lawful access” to the work). This exception only permits the making of copies for the purpose of text and data mining for non-commercial research." (HM Government, 2014)

HM Government. (2014). Exceptions to copyright. Intellectual Property Office.

As a member of Cranfield University, you have legal access to journals, databases and repositories held and subscribed to by the Library or Department. Many of these explicitly permit TDM as long as:

  • The purpose must be non-commercial,
  • Information sources must be cited.

Further information on copyright and TDM on external sites: